Is Perl Still Relevant?
Subject:   Some objective, empirical evidence
Date:   2005-07-14 08:33:48
From:   haywood
Results of a job posting search on

(Posts in last 10 days, all locations, no restrictions):

Perl: 2700

Python: 282

Perl AND Python: 188

Ruby: 20

Seems to me Perl is pretty relevant...

Keep in mind that Mr. O'Reilly's job is to sell
books. If Python and Ruby (and probably soon Groovy)
are the hot topics de jure, thats what he's going
to sell, and it will be expressed in his stats.

For those of us who make a living actually writing
scripts, I'd suggest the DICE stats are more relevant.
Book sales are more a leading (and I'd suggest very
leading) indicator.

Perl has matured. Like C, its become so de rigeur that
employers tend to assume anyone they hire will know at
least some Perl. Its just not sexy any more.
And since it doesn't have major corporations flogging
for it in the way that e.g., Java, C#, or VB.NET do,
popular press tends to disregard it.

Conveniently, the most current issue of
Sysadmin magazine - possibly the most popular mag
among people who actually keep all those racks of
web servers and DBMS's running - includes
the results of their annual editorial survey:

"Which languages do you use most often?
Shell (92%), Perl(87%), PHP(61%), C(61%),Python(37%)"

- syslog, Sysadmin Vol. 14, Number 7

In addition, many of the featured articles
(Database access was the topic of the month)
were essentially "Here's how to solve this problem
using Perl" articles...even tho only the Wizard's
monthly Perl column actually included Perl in the title.

While I'd love to see faster progress on Perl6,
I'd suggest the rumors of Perl's death are greatly
exaggerated. If the perl community seems less inclined
to astroturf for their favorite language, its probably
because, due to the high demand expressed in those
DICE numbers, we're too busy actually doing things
with it.

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  1. Some objective, empirical evidence
    2005-07-18 11:51:20  AdrienLamothe [View]

  2. Tim O'Reilly photo Some objective, empirical evidence
    2005-07-14 09:40:24  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

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